by Marissa Wu
Photography by Ece Yavuz
It is an acknowledged universal truth that a college student in possession of no fortune must be in want of free activities. Thankfully, Boston, the academic hub that it is, knows how to cater to its young, broke portion of the population. There is a plethora of fun events, attractions and restaurants that offer student discounts...and some activities are free.
Yes, free. I know, your ears just perked up. Charge! Or more likely, “No charge!”
So, as the earth begins to bloom, the days lengthen and the breeze becomes warmer, here’s a way to spend a lovely spring day in Boston on a budget.
Clear Flour Bread
Start the day with a fresh baguette. Word has it that these baguettes rival their Parisian sisters. At $3, one will feed four friends or one very hungry student.
Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
The Esplanade/Harvard Bridge
Take a leisurely stroll along the Esplanade, listen to the water’s gentle rhythm and observe the ducks paddling lazily. Stop at the Harvard Bridge and take in the Boston skyline. It’s a majestic scene, and it’s free.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
From Back Bay, hop on the E line to Heath Street take it to the Museum of Fine Arts stop. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has a fantastic student discount. The MFA is also an option, but the discount is stingy for students of non-participating universities. The Isabella Stewart Gardner discount is much more generous, and the art is just as beautiful. Plus, it has the renowned courtyard, perpetually in bloom.
$5 with your student ID, FREE for students of participating universities
Around the corner from the museum is the local Boston ice cream chain, JP Licks. Ask for a Cow Card so that you can accumulate points towards rewards, like free ice cream and coffee. Additionally, they also have a student discount. Double win.
10% off with your student ID
Walk off the ice cream by heading back to Copley for some shopping. Whether you want to spruce up your everyday wardrobe for the changing seasons, or you need to look sharp, many retailers offer student discounts with the presentation of an ID. These stores include J. Crew, LOFT, Steve Madden, Charlotte Russe, H&M and Ann Taylor. Discounts range from 10-15%.
Skywalk at the Prudential Center
At sunset, take in a view of the city from above. The Skywalk has a powerful, commanding view that showcases the city and the surrounding suburbs as far as 100 miles away.
10 a.m.-10 p.m.
$13 with your student ID
AMC Loews Boston Common 19 Theater
Movie-goers, rejoice! Whether you are a film fanatic or are just looking for a fun animated movie, students can see films for about half the normal admissions cost.
$7 with your student ID
Start or end your evening at Fire+Ice. Monday nights are college nights, which is a $10.99 all-you-can-eat gourmet rhapsody. Not Monday? There are other spots that offer discounts, too, including Tasty Burger ($10 Starvin’ Student) and Montecristo Mexican Grill (15% off with coupon).
Stick to this itinerary, or make it your own. Now, you too can be #ballinonabudget.